Richard Hochhauser, DWI & Criminal Lawyer: Your Trusted Suffolk County DWI Lawyer

Need a Suffolk County DWI lawyer? Richard Hochhauser, PLLC. provides professional DWI defense to protect your rights and your future. Learn more about our services.

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Why You Need a Suffolk County DWI Attorney

Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a crime committed by a person who is legally intoxicated having a blood alcohol content (BAC) of at least 0.08%. DWI laws in Suffolk County, as in the rest of New York, are strictly enforced.

A DWI conviction can drastically impact one’s life. Apart from license suspension, payment of fines and imprisonment may also be ordered. On top of that, your DWI conviction may be displayed in your driving record for fifteen (15) years or more, depending on the severity of the violation. Therefore, it is essential to seek legal support from Suffolk County, NY DWI professionals.

At Richard Hochhauser, DWI & Criminal Lawyer, we understand the nuances of New York’s DWI laws. Richard Hochhauser has years of experience as a former Nassau County prosecutor. This background allows him to navigate the complex legal landscape effectively. He has handled thousands of criminal cases, including DWI and DUI offenses.

With offices in Valley Stream and Garden City, we are positioned to serve clients across multiple regions. Our team is committed to ensuring your rights are protected every step of the way.

Understanding DWI Charges in Suffolk County

Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) in Suffolk County is a serious offense. New York DWI laws aim to deter and penalize impaired driving. Driving with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher is considered a “Per Se DWI” and is illegal. Some key points about DWI laws:

  • BAC Limits: A BAC of 0.08% or higher constitutes a DWI. For commercial drivers, the limit is 0.04%. For those under 21, a zero-tolerance policy applies, meaning that the limit must not go beyond 0.02%.
  • Aggravated DWI: When a driver is found to have 0.18% or higher BAC, they may be subject to higher fines and longer license suspensions if found guilty.
  • Common Law DWI: This applies when a driver shows visible signs of intoxication, even if their BAC is below 0.08%.

Meanwhile, driving while ability impaired (DWAI) is an offense where the driver has less than 0.08% BAC but is still found to be intoxicated or impaired to some extent. Specific DWAI offenses include:

  • DWAI Alcohol: BAC between 0.05% and 0.07%.
  • DWAI Drugs: Impairment from drugs, regardless of their legality.
  • DWAI Combined Influence: Impairment from both drugs and alcohol.

Differences Between DWI, DUI, and DWAI

DWI, DUI, and DWAI are three different offenses that carry varying consequences.

  • DWI (Driving While Intoxicated): This refers to alcohol impairment with higher BAC limits.
  • DUI (Driving Under the Influence): Largely synonymous with DWI, this can include both drugs and alcohol.
  • DWAI (Driving While Ability Impaired): This refers to having lower BAC and drug impairment.

Understanding these charges helps a New York DWI lawyer defend their clients effectively in Suffolk County. Each case requires careful consideration of the specific conditions and evidence. The stringent laws show that driving while impaired has severe consequences, emphasizing the need for informed legal assistance.

The Legal Process for DWI Charges

Generally, a DWI arrest involves the following:

Initial Arrest and Booking

When an individual is pulled over for suspected DWI, the police officer may conduct standardized field sobriety tests. These tests assess balance, coordination, and the ability to follow instructions. Breathalyzer technology may also be used to measure blood alcohol content.

If arrested, the individual is taken to a police station for booking. During booking, personal information, fingerprints, and photographs are taken. The individual remains in custody until they post bail or a judge orders for their release.


The arraignment is the first court appearance after the arrest. During this hearing, charges are formally presented, and the defendant enters a plea of guilty, not guilty, or no contest. The Suffolk County district attorney will represent the state. It may be crucial for the defendant to be represented by a NY DWI lawyer at this point to protect the defendant’s rights.

Suffolk County DWI lawyers can request bail reduction or argue for release on recognizance. Hiring an experienced DWI lawyer can significantly improve the outcome.

Pre-Trial Hearings and Motions

Pre-trial hearings involve several procedures designed to prepare the case for trial. Common motions, such as those seeking to suppress evidence obtained improperly, may be filed. A New York criminal defense attorney may argue that field sobriety tests were conducted improperly or that breathalyzer results are unreliable.

These hearings allow the defense to challenge the prosecution’s evidence. The goal is to strengthen the defense’s position or potentially reduce or dismiss the charges.


During the trial, both the prosecution and the defense present their cases. Prosecution relies heavily on police testimony and evidence from field sobriety tests and breathalyzers. The defense may counter with expert witnesses or highlight inconsistencies in the prosecution’s case.

Possible outcomes of a DWI trial include conviction, acquittal, or a hung jury. A conviction may lead to fines, community service, or imprisonment.

Potential Penalties for DWI Convictions

DWI convictions can result in a range of penalties that vary depending on the specifics of the case and the defendant’s history.

  • Fines and Fees: First-time offenders can expect fines ranging from $500 to $1,000. For repeat offenders, fines can increase significantly, potentially reaching $5,000. Clearly, the financial impact alone can be substantial.
  • Jail Time: A first offense might lead to up to one year in jail. Repeat offenders face stiffer penalties, with potential prison time extending to seven years. DWI convictions that are more serious may be ordered more years of imprisonment.
  • License Suspension and Revocation: Convictions can lead to license suspensions. A first-time DWI may result in a six-month suspension. For more serious or repeated offenses, a revocation period of up to 18 months is possible. In our piece about DWI License Suspension, we discuss license suspension and revocation in more detail.

Additional Consequences

Moreover, insurance rates are likely to soar following a conviction. This outcome impacts financial well-being long beyond paying fines. Employment could also be jeopardized, especially for those in fields requiring a clean driving record or security clearances. Community service and mandatory alcohol education programs are other possible penalties, placing additional demands on one’s time and resources.

Defending Against DWI Charges

Facing a DWI charge can be daunting. The consequences can impact your personal and professional life. We understand the importance of a robust defense.

  • Challenging the Traffic Stop: Our DWI defense often starts by questioning the legality of the initial traffic stop. If the officer lacked reasonable suspicion in the first place, this could make the arrest illegal or invalid.
  • Field Sobriety and BAC Tests: Accuracy matters. Field sobriety tests and breathalyzer results can be misleading. We meticulously review these tests to find inconsistencies.
  • Procedural Errors: Law enforcement must follow strict protocols. Any deviation can be critical and violative of a person’s constitutional rights. By identifying and citing procedural errors, criminal defense attorneys can argue for dismissal or reduction of charges.

Facing a DWI charge doesn’t have to be the end of the road. With the right DWI defense, you can protect your future. We are here to help every step of the way.

Choose Richard Hochhauser, DWI & Criminal Lawyer for Your DWI Defense

Are you facing DWI charges? If so, choosing a DUI lawyer with a proven track record is crucial. At the Richard Hochhauser, DWI & Criminal Lawyer, we are committed to providing professional and skilled legal representation. We recognize that each DWI case is unique. Our approach involves crafting personalized legal strategies tailored to the specifics of your case. This ensures that your defense is as strong and effective as possible.

Richard Hochhauser is a former Nassau County prosecutor with comprehensive knowledge of criminal law and extensive experience in criminal defense. He has prosecuted thousands of criminal cases, including DWI and DUI offenses.

From the moment you are arrested to the final courtroom appearance, we offer full legal support every step of the way. Our team handles every aspect of your case, providing peace of mind.

Our law office offers a free consultation. This initial meeting allows us to understand your situation and provide you with an honest assessment of your case.

Reach out to our law firm today. Let us put our extensive legal experience to work for you.



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At the Law Office of Richard Hochhauser, we have years of experience representing people accused of DWI and Aggravated DWI crimes in Nassau County. We understand the best strategies for building a case, and we’re not afraid to defend your rights in court. For a free consultation with our knowledgeable Nassau County DWI defense attorney, give us a call today at (516) 331-4008 or contact us online.

Defend Your Future Now: Schedule a Free Consultation

Facing criminal charges in Nassau County requires experienced legal representation to protect your rights and secure the best possible outcome. Don’t navigate the complexities of the legal system alone. Your future is too important to leave to chance—Contact Richard Hochhauser, PLLC today to schedule a free consultation and receive diligent criminal defense representation.


What should I look for when hiring a Nassau County criminal lawyer?

while there are many well reputed criminal defense lawyers in Nassau County, finding the right one for you and your case can be daunting. Look for criminal defense attorneys with experience handling your specific charges. Additionally, consider their reputation within the legal community through testimonials, awards, and reviews. You may also need to assess their ability to provide personalized attention to your case.

How much do Nassau County criminal lawyers typically cost?

The cost of hiring a criminal defense attorney in Nassau County can vary based on factors such as the complexity of your case, the attorney’s experience, and the legal services required. Make sure to discuss the fees and payment structure upfront to avoid unpleasant surprises.